National Academies Consensus Study

FARE conceived and initiated this comprehensive 2016 report on food allergy in the U.S., which was released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to inform food allergy research and policy.

November 2016 marked a milestone in food allergy research. Recognizing food allergy as a critical public health issue, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced the release of a new consensus study by the Committee on Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Public Policy. Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: Assessment of the Global Burden, Causes, Prevention, Management, and Public Policy is a comprehensive examination of food allergy in the U.S. This consensus study raises public awareness and provides essential information to guide future education, advocacy and research efforts.

Among the key recommendations by the NASEM consensus report:

  • Using systematically collected and statistically sound data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should obtain estimates of food allergy prevalence.
  • Diagnostic protocols and guideline on food introduction should be evidence-based.
  • Medical personnel, food allergy patients, caregivers, food workers and others should be trained in best practices for food allergy care, allergen avoidance and anaphylaxis management.
  • Labeling of major allergens should be based on allergy prevalence, reaction severity and allergen potency.
  • Precautionary labeling should be standardized and risk-based.
  • Epinephrine should be available in public venues (e.g., schools, child care facilities and airplanes) to treat severe food allergy reactions. Staff in these venues should receive first aid training in anaphylaxis.

Since the study’s inception, FARE has been at the forefront of this partnership to advance food allergy science and policy. Working with the former Institute of Medicine, FARE initiated the consensus study as the lead sponsor. Prior to the study’s 2015 launch, FARE spent more than two years in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine to organize the topics addressed in the report. FARE and other groups nominated the members of the expert panel and the volunteer patient advisory panel.

FARE also assisted in securing diverse co-sponsors to provide funding support for the study. Co-sponsors of the consensus study include the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Service, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, industry groups and patient groups.

The National Academies are an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision-makers and the public. NASEM reports address critical public health issues and have a direct impact on shaping national public policy.

Read a Q&A about the study with FARE CEO James R. Baker, Jr., MD on the FARE Blog 

FARE Press Release on National Academies Report